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Determinants of Activity Levels in African Americans With Mild Cognitive Impairment

Rovner, Barry W. MD; Casten, Robin J. PhD; Leiby, Benjamin E. PhD

Alzheimer Disease & Associated Disorders: January-March 2016 - Volume 30 - Issue 1 - p 41–46
doi: 10.1097/WAD.0000000000000096
Original Articles

Engaging in cognitive, social, and physical activities may prevent cognitive decline. In a sample of older African Americans with mild cognitive impairment (MCI; N=221), we investigated the cross-sectional relationships between activity levels and participants’ demographic, clinical, and neuropsychological characteristics. The average age of participants was 75.4 years (SD, 7.0); 177 (80.1%) were women. Participation in cognitive/social activities was positively associated with education, depression, literacy, mobility, instrumental activities of daily living (IADL), verbal learning, and subcomponents of executive function. A linear regression identified IADLs, education, depression, and verbal learning as independent predictors. Participation in physical activities was positively associated with sex, depression, IADLs, and subcomponents of executive function. An ordinal regression identified executive function and depression as independent correlates. These data suggest that unique characteristics are associated with cognitive/social and physical activities in older African Americans with MCI. These characteristics, coupled with low activity levels, may increase the risk of progression from MCI to dementia. Culturally relevant behavioral interventions to reduce cognitive decline in this high-risk population are needed.

Departments of *Neurology and Psychiatry

Psychiatry and Human Behavior, Sidney Kimmel Jefferson Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University

Department of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, Division of Biostatistics, Sidney Kimmel Jefferson Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA

Supported by grant 1R01AG035025-01A1 from the National Institute on Aging. Identifier: NCT01299766.

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Reprints: Barry W. Rovner, MD, 900 Walnut Street, 2nd Floor, Philadelphia, PA 19107 (e-mail:

Received August 29, 2014

Accepted February 24, 2015

Copyright © 2016 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved